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Torrent Latest News & Update: Researcher Says Online Piracy Has Some Positive Effects on Motion Picture Industry

Photo via Max Pixel

As governments across the world crack down on torrent sites to put an end to online piracy once and for all, an interesting study has emerged from the struggle. Called “Quantifying the Heterogeneous Effects of Piracy on the Demand for Movies,” the study explores the various effects of piracy on an economic standpoint.

The study was conducted in a 40-week period, a limiting timespan to be sure. But even though this is the case, it still yielded interesting results that shed some light on how piracy and torrent sites negatively and – surprisingly – positively affect the sales performance of copyrighted content.

“There’s some benefit from piracy, the word-of-mouth from piracy actually contribute to a total of $68.7 million to the industry box office and DVD revenue,” says researcher Zhuang Liu. However, Liu did highlight the negative effects of piracy as well.

The study says that file sharing through torrent sites impacts the overall performance rating of a motion picture industry by $231 million. Liu says that the number equates to 2.71 percent of his 40-week sample taken in the United States back in 2015.

But the author says that the majority of the damage by online piracy is seen on the sales performance of DVD, with an estimated figure of 36 percent. Liu further adds that it is the high-quality files being shared that is hurting this facet as it directly competes with the revenue of DVD and Blu-ray products. On the flip side, the researcher says that by pulling copyrighted files from torrent sites, pirates can save more money much more than the studio loses income, which contributes to the welfare of consumers.

Of course, having said all of these, the paper’s scope is quite limited in its approach especially given that it was only conducted on a short period of time, confined the research on the U.S. alone, and only analyzed BitTorrent traffic. However, the main point still stands: that in order to solve online piracy, authorities first need to understand how all the varying effects it has on numerous fronts.

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